19 Jul 2010

Wealth creation wanted by Govt

10:51 am on 19 July 2010

Prime Minister John Key says mining can create greater wealth for New Zealand.

The Cabinet will decide on Monday whether to go ahead with all, or part, of a plan to remove 7000 hectares of land from Schedule Four of the Crown Minerals Act, which protects land deemed to have a high conservation value.

Three areas, Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel, and Paparoa National Park on the West Coast, are under consideration.

The Cabinet will also decide whether to put more land in.

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand says there were 42,000 public submissions during an earlier consultation process and that shows the public are opposed to the idea.

Mr Key told Morning Report all the submissions have been considered.

However, he said widening mining opportunties will create jobs.

Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee says there will be more mining in New Zealand in future.

The Cabinet will also decide if the Ministers of Energy and Conservation will be authorised to approve access to conservation and other Crown land for mining related activities.

Also under consideration is the establishment of a conservation fund for any future royalties that may flow from mining in public conservation areas.

No announcement is expected until later in the week.

No compromise - conservation groups

Conservation groups say they will not accept any compromise from the Government.

Forest & Bird says the Government is misreading the situation if it thinks it can find a compromise the public will support.